There’s a Brad Paisley song I love which includes the lyric “Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once…” The Super Century, on the other hand, falls more under “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it“.
That said, I can’t pretend I thought this year’s Super Century would be fun. I clearly remembered it as being gloriously terrible; I just emphasized the wrong part. The original idea, the brainchild of Team Virtus’s Casey, features a 100K indoor trainer ride (though alternate events such as 100 pull-ups, 11-mile foot races, and outdoor rides are welcome as well). The main goal is suffering (and burning off calories before the Super Bowl binge), and participants are encouraged to share their pain via facebook and twitter.
Much like last year’s edition, this was my first time on my road bike in months (like since July), and I can count my history of trainer rides without using all of my fingers. True to form, I was looking forward to it with masochistic glee: “It’s going to be so awful!”
|Yeah, that’s pretty much it…|
Saturday was a busy day, so my Super Century preparation was pretty scanty. I slept in until 8 or so (fantastic) and then went to do some trail building. GORC is eventually adding three new singletrack loops to our local mountain bike trails, and since I appreciate having such great trails I wanted to help out. Plus, it’s really a good time. You get to meet cool new people, get a good workout, and add to the trail system. Win!
|Before/after…not of exactly the same spot, but you get the idea. We made a lot of progress.|
We had company Saturday night and had a good time playing games, so I didn’t get started setting up my bike until 10ish (yes, you know you’re living a wild life when that sounds late). We played “Say Anything”, and one of the cards I got asked the other players to guess my most prized possession. The little chips show their guesses.
|They know me pretty well.|
My mother-in-law was most impressed with my choice of “bike” — to the point where she brought it up again at the Super Bowl party the next day — but you can’t ride a wedding ring.
I got up at 5:20 for the 6:00 start, all because I had to run to the gas station for a diet soda and a coffee. Pretty sure that’s textbook addiction, but the morning was going to be bad enough without my morning caffeine.
|Ahhhh…now my day can start.|
I made it back to the house in time to start the Super Century right on time, only to deal with one problem after another. A Netflix password I didn’t know…a ridiculously complicated DVD/surround sound set-up…a bike computer that would register time but not mileage. The Super Century sucked before I even started riding. I had it better than, Luke, though, who dealt with two flats and a messed up brake, and Patrick, who I think went through three bikes during his ride.
Finally on my bike and riding, I was quickly reminded how miserable last year had been. Literally within 5 miles I was bargaining with myself about how far I was going to ride before I quit. Luckily, I had friends suffering with me and sharing their pain via facebook and twitter. Luke, Casey, Bob, Patrick, Kube, Anne, Robby, Christina, Dave, Aaron, Jim, Fletcher, Chad, Brian, and Greg all participated in one form or another. Kathy, who’d kicked major butt last year, overslept and missed out on all the “fun”.
|1/4 finished…time for a 5-min break|
I started out watching “The Big Lebowski”, which I didn’t love but probably missed a lot of due to volume issues. I’ll have to give it anothe try. Once that was over I woke up my husband to get the Netflix password and spent the next hour and a half watching “Ride the Divide“, a documentary about the Tour Divide, a mountain bike race along the Continental Divide from Banff to New Mexico. My bucket list may have grown by one while watching that movie, and while I know how silly that sounds from someone who couldn’t even finish Dirty Kanza (or, for that matter, who whimpered her way through a 62 mile trainer ride), it calls to me. I particularly loved this quote from Matthew Lee, who during the documentary was on his way to his fifth finish:
“Life’s too short not to take adventures like this; you have to make these types of experiences a priority.”
I mean, YES, right??
|Definitely the best part of my Super Century experience|
At 40 miles I stopped for cookies n cream ice cream, which had been my savior last year. It was still good, but no miracle cure this year.
|2/3 of the way finished.|
Dave Chappelle didn’t do the trick for me either, so I scrolled through Netflix looking for something to draw my attention away from my aching sitting parts. Shark Week and the Red Bull Rampage were momentary diversions, but Sahara is what finally did the trick. Thank you, Matthew McConaughey!
|Not loving the experience|
All along I kept working towards baby step goals…just get to 20 miles…just get to 30 miles…after mile 40 I let myself get off the bike every 5 miles for a minute or so. The last 12 miles passed by more quickly with some intervals: .1 mile pedalling hard, .2 miles recovery, repeat. I couldn’t have been more relived when my bike finally hit 62 miles and I could get off the saddle.
|Ahh, no makeup and sweaty and disgusting…and just to be very clear, numbers like 18 mph were only seen on my bike during faster intervals.|
My 62 miles took me 4 hours and 8 minutes, but that’s only ride time and doesn’t include my 5-minute breaks, bathroom stops, etc. Encouragingly, my back and legs felt pretty good for the duration, so I just have to build up my saddle endurance. Maybe from now on I’ll just watch movies from my bike seat instead of the love seat. After all, Dirty Kanza is only 4 months away, and I’ll need to be in the saddle for an additional 140 miles that day.
1) Stay strong and avoid Super Century III
2) Weekly bike trainer rides of at least 45 minutes until it’s warm enough to ride outside.
Also, Luke posted this hilarious video from last weekend’s trip to Ray’s MTB Park. I can’t watch it without laughing, but it’s really only the tiniest peek at what a good time we had there. Watch it…I dare you not to smile.